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Maus  Contemporary

Pierre Tal Coat "Composition", 1945Pierre Tal Coat "Composition", 1945



July 13 - August 24, 2018




The exhibition one-on-one invites gallery visitors to discover one painting drawn from a private US collection:

Composition (Still Life on a Table), a 1945 work by French artist Pierre Tal Coat (born Pierre Louis Jacob; 1905-1985).




Pierre Tal Coat, "Composition", 1945Pierre Tal Coat, "Composition", 1945

Pierre Tal Coat



oil on canvas
73 by 70 cm (approx. 28.75 by 27.5 in.)


private US collection



Tal Coat's birth name was Pierre Louis Jacob. Born 1905 to a fisherman in Brittany, he moved to Paris in 1924. He chose the surname Tal Coat (Breton for "Wooden Face") to avoid being confused with the artist and poet Max Jacob. Tal Coat was one of the most important figures in the post-war School of Paris, and is being credited as being one of the founders of Tachisme in the mid-1940s - a lyrical abstract movement often thought of as the French version of Abstract Expressionism. Tal Coat's paintings were acclaimed and admired by fellow artists such as André Masson. He also wrote on painting. His etchings and lithographs encapsulate the essence of his minimalist paintings.

Tal Coat was awarded the Grand-Prix National des Arts in 1968. His works have been featured in one-person exhibitions at the Galerie de France (1945-1946), the Kunsthalle Bern (1957), the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris (1960), Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris (1963), the Maisons de la Culture du Havre and d'Amiens (1969), Galerie Benador, Geneva (1970, 1972, 1975, and 1979), Galerie l'Entracte, Lausanne (1973), the Musee de Metz (1974), the Musée Royal de Parc Veno, Tokyo (1975), Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne (1979), Galerie Ditesheim, Neufchatel (1979), and at the Chateau de Ratilly (1979), Musée d'Evreux (1983), Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris (1983), Musee des Beaux-Arts de Quimper (1985), Maison de la Culture, Bourges (1987), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes (1988), and Centre National des Lettres, Paris (1988). In 1968, a traveling retrospective at the Galeries Benezit, d'Incelli, and Schoeller; in 1976, he was the subject of a career retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris. From 1954 on, he was primarily represented by the Galerie Maeght, Paris, and was the subject of a number of issues of the art review, Derrière le Miroir (numbers 64, 82/84, 114, 120, 131, 153, and 199). The artist has a Museum named in his honor, the Centre Culturel Galerie Pierre Tal Coat, located in Hennebont, Brittany, France.


The painting Composition, included in this exhibition was delivered on March 2, 1945 by the artist to his gallery, Galerie de France in Paris, who included the painting in the the Salon de Mai exhibition (exhibition reviewed by Raymond Cogniat and published in the magazine Formes et couleur, Numéros 3/4 - Année 1945; the painting Composition being reproduced three quarter page in black & white); and subsequently in the exhibition Jeune Peinture Française Indépendante at the Galerie Apollo in Brussels, Belgium (May 18 - June 20, 1946).




Bibliography (selection):

Danie Abadie and Christian de Manoir, Tal-Coat (Paris: Galerie Patrice Trigano, 1983); Alice Baxter et al, Tal-Coat, parcors 1945-1983 (Evreux: Musée d'Evreux, 1983); Samuel Beckett and Pierre Duthuit, "Three Dialogues: Tal-Coat, Masson, and Bram van Velde," in Transition n. 5 (Paris, 1949); André Carious and Daniel Dobbels, Hommage à Pierre Tal-Coat (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, 1985); Michel Dieuzaide, Vers La Courbure: L'Atelier de Pierre Tal-Coat Vu Par Michel Dieuzaide (Paris: Clivages, 1983); Pierre Tal-Coat, Raoul-Jean Moulin, Andre du Bouchet, Tal-Coat (Paris: Grand Palais, 1976); Pierre Tal-Coat, Vers ce qui fut est ma raison profonde de vivre (Lausanne: Françoise Simecek, 1983), Pierre Tal-Coat, Retrospective des dessins et oeuvres sur papier (Rennes: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, 1988).